Briatore: We will bounce back in 2008

Flavio Briatore is confident his team can bounce back to winning ways in 2008. 2007 has been a relatively poor season for the Renault team reigning world champions for two seasons, many had expected them to be challenging for podiums. However, the manufacturer has slipped behind McLaren, Ferrari and BMW, scoring just a single podium during the 2007 season.

It has been a disappointment, but it has been a lesson for next season, when we will come back even stronger,” Briatore explained. “In many ways, our lack of performance was the result of the year we had in 2006: we had to push even harder in 2006 when the mass damper was banned, we started late with our 2007 car and we had trouble adjusting to the Bridgestone tyres. That left us on the back foot, and we haven’t caught up during the season.”

Renault have recently turned their focus away from their current car and onto their R28 contender when it was clear that they could not catch BMW in the constructors championship. Although Briatore is confident about next season, he isn t making any predictions about what might happen.

“There is no point making big claims at this stage, five months before the first race,” he said. “But I see no logical reason why not. We know how to make a car for these tyres now, which we didn t a year ago. The wind tunnel results for the R28 look very promising. And the team is the same one they haven t forgotten how to make a quick car. I have a good feeling that we can climb back to our normal position next year.”

Meanwhile, Briatore is in no rush to confirm his 2008 driver line-up. With the uncertainty over Fernando Alonso s tenure at McLaren, and with the strong link between Renault and Alonso, Renault have yet to confirm who will be driving for them during the 2008 season.

Renault were expected to confirm their drivers for 2008 after the Italian Grand Prix last month, however with the increased speculation that Alonso will be returning to the team, no official announcements have been forthcoming.

Briatore has explained that the team have ‘good options but no decision has yet been finalized. “There is no rush to make an announcement at this stage,” Briatore remarked. “When we are ready and we have made our decision, we will announce it. But we are in a strong position with good options.”